Thursday, January 7, 2016

Car Garbage Bag Holder

Many years ago, when I shared my car with no one, it was kept clean. Spotless. Garbage-free. Anything that didn't belong in it was taken out when I got out.

And then I got married.

I love that man dearly. I do. But he doesn't share my fervency for a clean vehicle. It doesn't help that he's worked in the demolition field since before we got married and it's nearly impossible to keep his truck free from dirt, but that's another story.

Over the years, he's given me children--5 of them--and those children all seem to have missed out on that keep-your-car-clean gene. They're much more like their father in that aspect, but worse. I mean, they are kids, after all. Almost every time they take something in the van with them it remains there until Leighton or I demand that they bring it in the house.

Candy and gum? Pop it in your mouth and toss the wrapper in the cup holder.
Toys? Drop them in your seat once we reach our destination.
Papers from church? Let them slip out of your hands and fall carelessly to the floor to be trampled on.
Hair ties and clips? Ask mom to put them in your hair just so you can remove them before we even get to where we're going and leave them in the van. Bonus points for each additional item.
Crayons, pencils, pens? Set them down and let them roll until they get lost deep between the seats.
Lego pieces? Actually, I'm not so sure what they do with those as I find them in every possible crevice of both the van and the house. What exactly do they do? Throw them in the air to make it rain? Play hide and seek with each other? See who can lose their pieces the fastest? Strategically place them all over to drive mom crazy?? I'm just not sure.

Am I exaggerating? Yes. Maybe. But you get the point. Kids plus car equals mess. (Actually, kids plus anything equals mess, but you already knew that.) Whether you're running errands around town or driving on vacation across country, you need a way to contain the mess.

All you need to do is fill an empty paper towel tube with plastic grocery bags.

I know, super simple. We always have bags in the van for garbage or for carting objects back into the house. We've been using this method since our oldest was just a little guy, because it works so well. I do prefer to rely on reusable bags for grocery shopping and carrying our things, so I use the plastic bags mostly for garbage, but there are times when I forget to put the reusables back in the van and just hand the kids a plastic bag to gather their things. When you use up all the bags, you just need to refill it. The tube lasts quite a while before needing to be replaced. It fits easily next to your seat, under it, in the glove box or anywhere that you can access it. I keep mine in a slot in  the passenger door. That way, while Leighton is driving, I can gather the random mess of papers, wrappers, receipts, and whatnot that has been overlooked and get the van back to clean again. 

In a perfect world, the kiddos would clean up after themselves every time without being reminded to. Yeah. Until then, we'll just keep filling our tube with bags.

Now, if only I could figure out what they do with those Lego pieces.

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